See things clearly

During our childhood my brothers and I fought many a battle, in more ways than one, over board games.  In those pre-Space Invader days we played all kinds, and we each had our favourites.  One of us loved Monopoly, while my other brother was a Treasure of the Pharoahs fanatic.


But sometimes the simple things are the best.  There are few games that are simpler than Connect 4.  To win all you had to was create a line of four counters in any direction within the six layers of the game's framework.  That was my favourite.


Jim Harris of the ODCQ blog was a fan too.  He points out that 'data governance has its own version of Connect Four'', in that he believes businesses should connect people, business process, technology and data:

"Data governance policies govern the complex interactions among people, business processes, technology, and data, which is a corporate asset because high quality data serves as a solid foundation for an organization's success, empowering people, enables by technology, to optimize business processes for superior business performance."

We share common ground.  In my view, to create clarity about how the business works, to optimise performance and to make better decisions, businesses have to understand the relationships between flows of data and people, process & technology.


It struck me after thinking about Jim's blog, that here at OBASHI for the past 10 years we have been working on 'connect 6'.   


On OBASHI Business and IT diagrams (B&ITs) you position elements (representing business assets, including people) in each of the 6 OBASHI layers:


  • Ownership
  • Business Process
  • Application
  • System
  • Hardware
  • Infrastructure


Our modelling technology understands the positions of the elements and the data they contain relative to each other and keeps track of the relationships and dependencies between the elements.  This enables you to 'join-the-dots' using our Dataflow Analysis Views (DAVs): to connect the elements and their associated data in and between each layer, and to see clearly how data flows within and between business units. 


Put simply: with OBASHI you can connect business silos.


The single-user version of our software which automates this entire process for you will be available in February, which is just the right time.  Businesses in all sectors of the economy are realising that the status quo, where data is scattered in many locations without any 'big picture' to manage it, is no longer tenable.


For example, 'Government Computing' magazine organised a round table of senior UK government IT managers in early January at which it was generally felt that 'most organisations do not have a single view of their data.'  One speaker said,

 "Because we have lots of silos of information, we don't make the best possible use of the information we have."

At a time of severe budget cuts, government organisations are under pressure to create a '"corporate level" of performance, costs and service delivery" to enable efficiencies.  If they cannot connect the organisational silos they need to then government policy in this area will fail.


Another example is in finance, where, 'the aggregation of data from multiple business silos to measure risk remains a challenge within most financial institutions.'  A situation that 'needs to be addressed because the effectiveness of risk management practices will be tested...[in] an evolving regulatory environment.'  


These two situations may appear poles apart: participants in each sector, rightly or wrongly, believing that their area (silo) is necessarily complex and needing their specialist skills.  However, pragmatically, their problems are the same.  If both could connect the silos that hamper better decision-making in their organisations, and had a fuller understanding of how data flows through and between the people, process and technology that exist within these silos, they could make better use of their existing information.  They could also take huge steps forward in managing risk.


If you don't understand the big picture of your own inter-connectivity then your corporate decision-making will remain, at best, educated guesswork.


Seems a bit daft when you could be using OBASHI.


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